"At one time 'regime change' was the now-abandoned goal of our foreign policy toward an island 90 miles off our shores," Doggett continued. "Immediate success is even less certain for a regime on the other side of the world through a means uniformly rejected at present by the countries of the region. Of course, Saddam Hussein is a menace, as was Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, as was Josef Stalin. But able policymakers of both parties found ways to contain such threats without starting what could become another World War.
"Mr. President, unite our country and the world to eliminate weapons of mass destruction; do not divide us by making war the first instrument in your foreign policy," concluded Doggett. He's not the only Texas rep to speak out against the growing possibility of a unilateral U.S. attack on Iraq: Republicans Dick Armey and Ron Paul have also argued strongly against war. But Doggett said that as far as he knows, Houston Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee is the only other Texas Democrat who has spoken out publicly against the White House drive for military action.
Doggett says he was among 50 members of the House Democratic Caucus who earlier this summer tried and failed to persuade their Dem colleagues to take a united stand against the administration's war plans. While some Democrats may support military action against Iraq, many more may be hesitating to speak out because they are understandably wary that evidence may appear -- or that the Hussein regime may do something -- to persuade them the threat is real and imminent, he said. "Almost everyone is pretty tentative," said Doggett, "but my sense is that unless we take some risk and get out and speak out about it, we're in danger of becoming part of the problem instead of part of the solution."
Doggett said that until loud opposition was raised from within the GOP and internationally, the Bush White House appeared intent upon war without even the pretense of consulting Congress. House members opposed to unilateral action plan to meet following the president's Thursday speech on the subject, to decide what to do next.